"This double album is great for fans of Jason and the Scorcher as well as anyone who likes rock/roots/folk music. Jason presents a bunch of new and old takes of Scorcher classics like the re-written Shop It Around, a de-Scorcherized version of Cappuccino Rosie, and a jacked-up version of Jimmie Rogers Last Blue Yodel with the English band the Wildhearts who obviously help channel the inner-scorcher in Jason.
There's a great grouping of touching family tributes like A Pocketful Of Soul, She Hung The Moon, Camille, For Addie Rose, Half The Man, and Moms 70th Birthday Song. Every song connects. Even Jason's alter ego Farmer Jason gets the spotlight on 2 rockers.
The true treasure of BEST TRACKS AND SIDE TRACKS are the `where did these come from' selections. The Sailor's Eyes, Born To Run, Lovely Christmas, and Prosperity Train prove that Jason will never slow down. This is a great career spanning testament to a true American artist. "
Fine Collection of Old and New Tracks
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 04/27/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jason Ringenberg, of course, was the voice and principal songwriter of the mid-Eighties alt-country band Jason & The Scorchers. While the Scorchers' last album was released in 1996, Ringenberg has released several critically acclaimed solo albums beginning with 1991's ONE FOOT IN THE HONKY TONK in 1992 while the Scorchers were on hiatus. About three years ago I was lucky enough to see Ringenberg with a reunited Scorchers on one of their handful of reunion shows. And Ringenberg's solo work displays all the energy of his earlier work with the Scorchers.
In fact, this collection kicks off with a reworking of "Shop It Around" from 1984's LOST AND FOUND. One of the other 2007 recordings is a new version of "The Life of the Party" from ONE FOOT IN THE HONKY TONK. [Licensing restrictions prevented Ringenberg from including any original tracks from that album.] Highlights include a duet with Steve Earle on "Bible and a Gun," the aching ballad "For Addie Rose," the rocking "Prosperity Train" and a hyped-up guitar number "Link Wray" featuring Los Straitjackets. Truth to tell, there isn't a weak track on disc one.
Disc two, however, is a bit more eclectic. The disck kicks off with a Christmas song that is half trad-country and half punk. [Think Patsy Cline meets the Ramones.] Certainly one of the quirkier Christmas songs you're likely to ever hear. "Moose on the Loose" is an extended mix of a track from Ringenberg's second children's record. "The Sailor's Eyes" is a a never before released track from 2007. In the liner notes, Ringenberg says the song "tells the story of my years with Jason and the Scorchers." "Cappaccino Rosie" is a live version of a country weeper that appeared on the last Scorchers' album CLEAR IMPETUOUS MORNING. "Mom's 70th Birthday Song" is a ballad recorded in 1999 originally intended for A POCKETFUL OF SOUL. "Help There's a Fire" will be recognizable to Scorcher fans, but this is the original version recorded in 1980 by Ringenberg's band at the time Shakespeare's Riot. Philosopher Buckminster Fuller may seem like an odd subject for a song, but "Buckminster Fuller We Need You Now" is a pleasant if not terrific country song. "Who's Gonna Feed Them Hogs" was recorded for (and ultiamtely rejected by) the compilers of a Tom T. Hall tribute CD. "Paradise" is a loving version of the John Prine chestnut. The disc closes with a pull-out-all-the-stops version of "Jimmie Rodgers' Last Blue Yodel" featuring The Wildhearts.
For fans who cherish the memory of Jason and the Scorchers, this collection is a goldmine of some of Ringenberg's best tracks over the past decade. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED [Disc-1, 73:42; Disc 2, 30:06]"
If you have to ask who this great singer/writer/musician is,
Ricahrd A. Salzer | Chesapeake, Virginia, USA | 05/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"you wna tot find out about one of the great musical treasures that the Est- ablishment has tried to keep buried.
Probably because he sontinues to hold to his faith and Christian beleifs. Jason has been one of the great songwriters in America for a loonngggg time. Rock On Jason!"
D. Arnold | Fountain Valley,CA | 04/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jason and the Scorchers were too rockin for country and too country for rock. Way ahead of their time! They were unmatched in concert. This disc has Scorcher stuff and Jason's other creative side. Look into the newly released 'Lost and Found'-it shreds!! Dean"